Last week, we promised you some tips on how to have a more eco-friendly Christmas in the UAE this year.
Christmas used to be the most wasteful time in our household from unwanted presents, to the purchase of too much food and to the disposal of too much waste.
Read on for our top 10 tips on how to reduce your environmental impact this Christmas and who knows, you may relish in keeping the consumerist in you at bay!
- Why not pledge your time as a gift instead of giving a physical one? For some people, your time will beat anything you can unwrap. Time pledges can be personal from learning something new with your partner to impactful such as donating your skills to a charity.
- If you want to give a gift to unwrap then there are plenty of eco-friendly ones available, always do your research for a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative. In my sack to give this year are swim shorts made with recycled polyester yarn that comes from used plastic bottles found in our oceans. Bamboo cooking utensils. Organic cotton bed linen and some eco-packaged and chemical free soaps made of all-natural ingredients.
- Do you own an artificial Christmas tree? If so keep using it and use for as long as possible. When it needs replacing search for an eco-friendly alternative. If you’re longing for a real tree then one with an FSC certification is best as they are grown sustainably. If an artificial one is your preference, then go for a second hand one.
- Christmas cards…Christmas cards…Christmas cards… Why not send e-cards instead of sending actual cards? It reduces your carbon footprint and lightens the load on your wallet! If you must send Christmas cards then they are now available in recycled card and if you receive Christmas cards, get some snazzy shaped cutting scissors and cut yourself out some Christmas labels for next year.
- Wrapping paper – there really is no excuse not to be using recycled wrapping paper – there are plenty of eco-friendly options on the market! We use recycled Kraft paper.
- Where possible, try to buy local, organic and free-range.
- Reduce your food waste – either buy less or ensure you have pre-planned some leftover options like turkey curry and bubble and squeak.
- Support local businesses and buy handmade Christmas decorations made using sustainable material.
- Christmas is a time of parties and gatherings with family and friends. Where possible car and taxi share.
- Lastly, as tempting as it may be to reduce your washing up pile during all those family gatherings, avoid using disposable tableware. Enjoy the good china and glass – that’s what it’s been there for all year.